27 Dec 2021
The State Inspector, Londa Toloraia held a meeting with Kelly Degnan, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Georgia
The meeting touched upon the draft Law prepared by the Parliament of Georgia on the abolishment of the State Inspector’s Service and establishment of two new entities instead.
Londa Toloraia provided the U.S. Ambassador with detailed information on the recent developments regarding the State Inspector’s Service. The State Inspector drew the Ambassador’s attention to the timing of initiation of the draft Law and its examination in a rushed manner. Londa Toloraia highlighted that the draft Law does not correspond to any of the recommendations issued by international organisations and the non-governmental sector. At the same time, none of the challenges that were identified several times in the 2020 annual report of the State Inspector’s Service have been reflected in the same draft Law. The State Inspector’s Service is to be abolished instead of its reorganization on the basis of the new draft Law. Elected position of the State Inspector is repealed and from 01 March, 2022 all the employees of the Service remain unemployed.
“The State Inspector’s Service is a team composed of highly qualified professionals that throughout these two years did its maximum in response to all the challenges. One the one hand, it has maintained high standard of personal data protection and on the other, has established the best practice for an effective investigation of official misconducts and thus, responded to the key purpose for its establishment – it managed to raise public trust towards the investigation of such category of crimes” - stated Londa Toloraia.
At the meeting, Kelly Degnan highlighted the role of the State Inspector’s Service, an independent institution, in protecting human rights and democracy. She has noted that the Service is tasked with an important function of investigating crimes committed by officials who are accountable to the public. Kelly Degnan negatively assessed the fact that this process has been rushed through without any necessity and without transparency and consultations, including with the State Inspector’s Service. According to her statement, an obscured and non-transparent process is a missed opportunity for the implementation of actual changes.
The most concerning for the U.S. Ambassador was the fact that the draft Law provides for the dismissal of every employee of the State Inspector’s Service from 01 March 2022 whereas no questions or complaints have been raised against their work. The Service is composed of the specialists in the field and qualified experts, who have performed their duties conscientiously throughout these years – stated Kelly Degnan.
the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Georgia, Kelly Degnan pledged her full support to the Service and addressed the Parliament of Georgia with the recommendation to pause and slow down the process of accelerated examination of the draft Law. In addition, she has called for inclusive discussion and consideration of actual initiatives for strengthening the State Inspector’s Service.